The Salem Witch Wars: Never Again.
Christian Day, on the other hand, thought it was hilarious. He started his business knowing very well that regardless of all else haters gonna hate. I'm sure that on some level being compared to someone he looked up to was kind of an honor, and on the other hand, he just really loves controversy.
In the long run, it ended up that the witch wars all the gossipy folk in the pagan community were supposing went on between Christian and Laurie were much imagined and embellished. In fact, even after he went to her birthday party a few years ago, proving once and for all they were still friends, some people still say they hate each other.
And now, after 42 years, Salem's Official Witch, the most respected and beloved freak in New England, Laurie Cabot is closing her shop for good. Most people heard the news via her Facebook page where she wrote a lengthy status update explaining everything:
"As you can imagine running a store and trying to be available to the temple is a lot of work, and so I have decided to align myself with my new goals and close my store, The Official Witch Shoppe."
Of course, this wasn't her first shop. Over the years Laurie has become successful and world famous, but business has always been hard for her. Over the years she has been in the news for all kinds of things, some of them related to mistakes she had made business-wise, sometimes her problem was simply trusting people too much. But she is ending things on a good note...
She goes on, "...from the first, The Witch Shoppe to Crow Haven Corner and then The Cat, The Crow and The Crown and finally to The Official Witch Shoppe. It has been a dream come true to have had the experience of operating my stores and the countless wonderful people I have met and interacted with at each of my shop locations. "
1971(?) - The Witch Shoppe, Salem, MA
'Crow Haven Corner', now owned by a student/friend of Laurie's, Lorelei.
Now, when it really comes down to it this isn't really all that shocking to someone that knows her. She really loves being who she is, interacting with people, etc., but everyone could always tell that Laurie didn't really like being a tourist attraction! I'm not sure how different she used to be, but for a long time now it's been clear she'd rather not harassed by pushy tourists, choosing rather to be more elusive and mysterious.
I'm sure at this point she can sell her products online and get more business than the physical shop does, and she will still be busy teaching classes - not to mention most psychics have regulars that call in for readings and I'm sure hers are extremely dedicated. In the long run, maybe the shop just wasn't worth her time and money anymore. Odds are she'll do more good for the community, make more money, and have more fun without it. I don't think she'll ever fully retire, so this might be the closest she ever comes.
Keep your eyes peeled for this sign at 1219 Decatur Street in The French Quarter.
The other big news in Salem is also big news for Vieux Carre. Salem's own Christian Day is opening up another incarnation of his successful shop, Hex, in the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. "It happened very quickly," he said on his Facebook page. He's already headed down there and plans on opening as early as February. Rumor has it he plans on opening a third shop in Saudi Arabia in the future.
So watch out, N'awlins, the Howard Stern/Kathy Griffin/Joan Crawford of witchcraft is on his way...